Asia continues to drive air cargo demand, ACI reports

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The Airports Council International (ACI) says airports in China contributed 23.5 per cent to growth in air cargo volumes in 2016 as business continues to shift eastward.

This was detailed in latest edition of the World Airport Traffic Report by ACI, which found  Chinese hubs are the largest contributor to global growth in overall air transport demand.

ACI says besides China’s contribution to global growth, several other Asian countries are also home to some of the fastest growing gateways in the world as aviation continues to shift eastward, capitalising on the demographic dividend.

ACI’s Emerging Aviation Market Index, which tracks 19 high growth emerging markets that have a significant critical mass of air cargo throughput, accounted for 33.9 per cent of global traffic.

Countries such as India, Indonesia and Vietnam have achieved double-digit growth on an annualised basis since 2006 and are poised to grow even more in the future as subject to infrastructure capacity considerations.

Similarly, countries like the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey, home to global connecting hubs, have experienced “exponential” growth in under a decade.

ACI director general, Angela Gittens says 85 per cent of the world resides in emerging markets and developing economies and growing incomes, a burgeoning middle class and peaking working age populations in some of these markets has translated into the rapid rise growth seen.

ACI says in 2016 after China’s 23.5 per cent growth, the US contributed 16 per cent of the global increase in volumes, and Qatar 7.2 per cent while airports located in emerging markets and developing economies continue to make robust gains in air cargo volumes with year-over-year growth of 5.3 per cent in 2016.

In 2016, airports located in ASEAN-5 countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand) saw cargo traffic jump 4.2 per cent compared to the previous year.

And airports located in the populous BRICS countries have observed annualised growth of 5.5 per cent in air cargo volumes for the period from 2006 to 2016. Similarly, MINT countries had comparative growth of 5.6 per cent respectively over the same period.